Sunweb's Chris Hamilton was a noticeable non-starter in the elite men's road race at the Australian Road Championships at the weekend. The 24-year-old revealed just ahead of the race that his summer in Australia – including his participation in next week's Tour Down Under – is over before it's even begun due to him rupturing a testicle in a training crash.
"Yep, fellas – it's just as painful as you think it is," Hamilton, who won the white jersey as best young rider at last year's Tour Down Under, wrote in a post on Instagram.
He explained that he'd had a crash in training between Christmas and the new year while riding on a bike path.
"Nothing [was] broken, but since someone is going to ask what I did anyway, I ruptured a testicle," he said.
Hamilton, from Bendigo, Victoria, joined Sunweb in 2017 from Australian Continental team Avanti IsoWhey Sport, having impressed the Dutch WorldTour squad with victory in the 2016 under-23 national championships road race, and eighth place overall, as well as winning the youth category, at that year's Herald Sun Tour.
He rode his first Grand Tour in his first year with Sunweb – the 2017 Vuelta a España, which he finished, in 121st place – and has since twice ridden the Giro d'Italia, in 2018 and last year, when he finished 34th overall, taking ninth place on stage 17 from Val di Sole to Anterselva, won by AG2R's Nans Peters.
"At the moment, it's a bit unknown how long my recovery will take, but at this stage all I can say is the surgery to do some repairs went well and I'll find out more in a follow-up next week," Hamilton said of his current injury.
"I am pretty devastated to be sidelined for the Aussie summer, but – who knows? – maybe a change will be for the best," he said.